|Coach Hoàng Văn Phúc (left) and his Quảng Nam players will play Sông Lam Nghệ An in the V.League’s 15th round today on home turf. — Photo webthethao.vn
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Nam will host Sông Lam Nghệ An in the 15th round of the V.League this afternoon. For the visitors, it will be a chance to avenge their defeat in the first-leg match.
In the first leg in February, Quảng Nam came from behind to win 4-2.
It took them only 37 minutes to turn the tables. They were down two goals in the first half but shattered their opponents in the second with four consecutive goals to pocket a victory.
It was their third consecutive win over Sông Lam Nghệ An, who are former national champions.
The upcoming match will not be easy for Sông Lam Nghệ An, as they have made some changes in the line-up, while Quảng Nam are at their peak.
Sông Lam Nghệ An’s foreign striker Henry Shackiel who scored the opener in the first-leg match has left.
Wing defender Trần Đình Hoàng has not been able to play. He has not yet recovered from his right leg injury, and the coaching board will have to rest him for several weeks.
Midfielder Phạm Mạnh Hùng has also been rested, as his groin injury has not healed.
Young striker Hồ Tuấn Tài has said he would need at least two weeks to return to the field, also because of injury.
Sông Lam Nghệ An will play with only Olaha as a foreigner in the front line. He will be assisted by young forward Hồ Phúc Tịnh.
The defenders trio of Hoàng Văn Khánh, Nguyễn Sỹ Nam and midfielder Nguyễn Văn Vinh will be back in action after their fines. With their presence, coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng will have more choices.
He will also have Quế Ngọc Hải and Hồ Khắc Ngọc, who are in their best form.
On the other hand, Quảng Nam are excited after their 3-0 win over Sanna Khánh Hòa over the weekend, their fourth win in a row in one month in both V.League and the National Cup.
Under coach Hoàng Văn Phúc, the dark horse team beat defending champions Hà Nội FC, title favourites Quảng Ninh Coal and former winner Becamex Bình Dương.
Quảng Nam are now No. 3 in the ranking with 23 points after 14 matches.
They are home to national team captain Đinh Thanh Trung, former U23 member Phan Thanh Hưng and two quality foreigners Dos Reis Claudecir and Thiago.
Quảng Nam also have had positive results when playing on home turf this season. They have not lost yet in six games (two wins, four draws) at the Quảng Nam Stadium.
“My players found their peak form, and they also connected well with each other. These are the main reasons for our remarkable results,” coach Phúc said.
“In the upcoming match, we are 100 per cent focussed. It is necessary to work on one match at a time now because Sông Lam Nghệ An are also in good form,” he added.
In another match, Hà Nội FC will play SHB Đà Nẵng on away ground, but they still hope for a win to climb back to the top.
In this match, Hà Nội will not play defender Sầm Ngọc Đức, who received a red card due to a serious foul, jumping on Nguyễn Anh Hùng of Hải Phòng during Sunday’s round 14 game.
Yesterday, Đức was awarded extra penalty of an eight-match ban and VNĐ30 million (US$1,300) fine. He will be back to play the last three games on November 5.
The club were also fined VNĐ50 million ($2,200) for negligence, as a fire occurred on the stadium stands and the fans started hurling things.
Hà Nội, who are trying to rejuvenate their line-up, will play at Hòa Xuân Stadium, where the hosts Đà Nẵng have rarely lost.
Đà Nẵng, on the other hand, are worried about their busy schedule, which will be affected by the international competitions of the U22 and U23 teams.
The former champions have to play four games in 16 days.
“We have to play one game every four days. We also have to travel a lot. My players do not have enough time to recover. It is big trouble for us,” said coach Lê Huỳnh Đức after his team lost to FLC Thanh Hóa on Saturday.
In other matches, Hải Phòng, whose fans will be forbidden in the away stadium for triggering a fire, will host bottom-placed Long An on their Lạch Tray Stadium.
Leading team FLC Thanh Hóa will strengthen their No. 1 position when visiting HCM City at the Thống Nhất Stadium.
Former champions Becamex Bình Dương will entertain Sài Gòn FC. It will be the second meeting of the two sides within eight days. Becamex Bình Dương eliminated Sài Gòn from the National Cup with a 2-1 result last week.
Elsewhere, Cần Thơ will play Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, and Quảng Ninh Coal will face Sanna Khánh Hòa. — VNS